The benefits of incorporating music into education go beyond enhanced creativity and classroom involvement. Research has found that music triggers higher brain activity, an increased IQ, improved language development and a slight link to improved spatial-temporal skills. Students learning music naturally tap into multiple skill sets; using ears, eyes, and large and small muscles simultaneously, for example, isn’t easy and requires concentration, fine tuned motor skills and plenty of practice. In terms of found that schools with music programs have a higher attendance and graduation rate by nearly 10 percent in both categories.
The Student Advancement Foundation (SAF) of Grand Rapids sees these benefits, and as a result, is a large supporter and advocate for keeping music (and other arts) a critical part of the Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) education curriculum.
Some of SAF’s notable contributions include the campaign, Tools for Learning. Tools for Life., which raises funds to replace worn musical instruments (some even being held together with duct tape!) with 400 brand new instruments for bands and orchestras, and contributing over $40,000 annually for art and music supplies for GRPS schools. In addition, the SAF provides opportunities for students of various grades to interact with the most renown facilities in Grand Rapids, including the Civic Theatre, Frederick Meijer Gardens and the Symphony.
The SAF gives students in our community access to some of the best materials, ensuring that education and experience in all realms of art stays in our school systems. The SAF hopes to enhance literacy and strengthen minds of our next generation.
To get involved with the SAF, visit their website here. To learn more about the benefits of music in education, visit our music advocacy links under resources.